Two second places for Vermeulen in Phillip Island
Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR rider Chris Vermeulen used his new for 2004 machine to great effect at Phillip island, securing his first podium finish in race one and backing it up with another second place in the second 22-lap contest. The high track and air temperatures were no barrier to the progress of the CBR1000RR, a machine in only its second competitive event.
A raceday of contrasts for Vermeulen saw him fight hard in a four-way scrap for his eventual second place in the opener, but the second running was a more clear cut affair at the end.
Vermeulen's pair of seconds gave him fourth overall in the championship, with James Toseland on 61 points, Chili (Ducati) on 56 and Vermeulen on 55, shared with second race winner Garry McCoy (Ducati).
For Vermeulen, the race weekend was a perfect homecoming, and reward for a weekend of toil. "The first race was a lot cooler and the track got a lot hotter in the second race so it made the tyres slide a lot - but we got on the podium for a second time in two races. The bike is getting better all the time; the team has done a great job. We've already had two podiums so we'll wait and see what happens at the next few races. It's been great today so I hope we can keep this up."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate put the win down to the hard work put in by all the team since the first race at Valencia. "It was almost the perfect result today," he stated. "With an all new bike and a rider new to Superbike we have brought it home in second position twice. Especially in the first race, that was a good effort. We are learning every time out there, learning more and more about the bike. It also looks as if there is more to come."
The next round for the Ten Kate Honda Superbike squad is at Misano, Italy, on 18 April.
World Superbike Championship
Round Two - Phillip Island
26 - 28 March 2004
1. R. Laconi, FRA, Ducati 999 F04
2. C. Vermeulen, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR
3. J. Toseland, GBR, Ducati 999 F04
4. S. Martin, AUS, Ducati 999 RS
5. G. McCoy, AUS, Ducati 999 RS
1. G. McCoy, Aus, Ducati 999 RS
2. C. Vermeulen, Aus, Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR
3. P. Chili, ITA, Ducati 998 RS
4. M. Borciani, ITA, Ducati 999 RS
5. T. Corser, AUS, Petronas FP1
Parkes Fourth After Unpredictable Aussie Race
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Honda) secured a safe fourth place after a home race of mixed fortunes for the Ten Kate pairing of Parkes and Karl Muggeridge. In a safe and steady third, Muggeridge suffered the heartbreak of slowing in the last two laps, finishing an eventual 12th, earning four points.
The race was won by the charging local rider Josh Brookes, the only remaining wild card in the field, who held off the challenge of WSS regular Kevin Curtain (Yamaha).
For Parkes, it was a tough home race, but one marked by his first points core of the season, which leaves him in eighth place overall. "The set-up wasn't quite right all weekend," admitted the young Aussie. "It got better but we didn't quite know what to do to improve it enough. We tried lowering it and raising it at both ends but because we were in Valencia, and did a lot of testing before this race, I think maybe it was something internal in the suspension we could have changed. But it could have been a lot worse. At least we got some points this time."
Sitting in pole position for the second race in succession, Muggeridge was philosophical about his raceday fate. "The engine just stopped," he said. "We're down but not out. I was having some trouble with the front end but coming into this race I was determined to bring it in strong for a good finish. Third was mine, even if Jurgen was a little bit behind - but far enough back for me to handle in the last laps."
Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate stated, "There was a sudden drop in power, and now we are taking out the data from the machine. There was no leak, no breakage, but the power was gone and he had to back it off quite a lot to make sure he could bring it to the line to get those couple of points. They might make all the difference. I think a podium for Karl would have been a fairer result."
The next round of the championship takes place at Misano, Italy, on 18th April.
World Supersport Championship
Round Two - Phillip Island
26 - 28 March
1. J. Brookes, AUS, Honda CBR600RR
2. K. Curtain, AUS, Yamaha YZF R6
3. J. vd Goorbergh, NED, Yamaha YZF R6
4. B. Parkes, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR
5. S. Charpentier, FRA, Honda CBR600RR
6. F. Foret, FRA, Yamaha YZF R6
7. A. Corradi, ITA, Honda CBR600RR
8. M. Neukirchner, GER, Honda CBR600RR
9. L. Lanzi, ITA, Ducati 749 R
10. S. Chambon, FRA, Suzuki GSX 600R
12. K. Muggeridge, AUS, Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR